Mermaids and mermen
This year's climate conference had a lot of side-events about gender. Gender is about women and men, not their biological differences, but the differences in for example their roles, their needs, their rights and their access to decision making.
FCAM side event, Marrakech 2016
Climate change affects women differently
The poorest people of this world are hit the hardest by climate change, because most effects of climate change can be seen in poor tropical countries. Poor people have little or no means to restore after losing their harvest, home or family. They have no savings and no insurances. Of the poorest, a majority is female. Therefore women are affected worse by climate change.
In addition, women and men feel climate change in different ways. For example, less rain means women and girls have to walk longer distances to fetch water, which is often their task. Girls have less time to go to school or do their homework. Sometimes women have to walk 4 hours a day to fetch water.
In the climate treaty of 1992, which was followed by the Kyoto protocol, this gender aspect was not taken into account at all. It did not mention people at all, let alone men and women. It only mentioned todays and future generations.
Later on, gender became a topic in the climate process, culminating in a working program about gender that was introduced on the conference in Lima in 2014. There were a workshop and a report. Here in Marrakech, this working program was prolonged for another 3 years and an action plan will be set up.
Gender needs more than just ticking the box
But is this going to help? In one of the many side events I heard someone say that gender often is added in the end: "Ticked the box, done, that's it."
If you really want to take the differences between men and women into account, if you want to make sure that both men's and women's are heard in decisions about their land, their future and climate actions, you have to ask them what they need. Women have to be involved in the decisions that affect them.
Because women have other roles and tasks than men, like for example producing food crops for their families, picking the seeds for next year, making traditional medicine from herbs and plants, they have other knowledge than men. This knowledge can be a crucial element for climate action. This is a second reason to listen to women more often.
Are we all mermaids?
Last week I was also invited to attend the 'high level event for women leaders'. There, I would meet strong and powerful women, like Hilda Heine, president of the Marshall Islands, UN's clean energy champion Rachel Kyte, and Mary Robinson, Ireland's former president and now leading her own Foundation focusing on huan rights and climate justice.
The woman next to me explained: because we women are caretakers, we are connected to the fate of the earth. In our bodies, we feel the pain the earth also feels.
Boom! Suddenly I woke up. Women the caretakers? Isn't that one of those gender roles that is imposed upon us? My husband is a good caretaker as well. Will he also get a fishtail now? I was confused.
Connected to earth
I believe that all human beings - women and men, are connected tot he earth. Dutch scientist André Kuipers flew to the moon, saw our beautiful blue planet from space and felt terrible. He realized that he needed to be on earth, the ecosystem that we belong in as humans. Women and men. We can't live without the earth.
So let's take good care of the earth and of ourselves, of mermaids and mermen.
Read more about this subject
External link / 1 August 2018
This paper by Prakriti Resources Center (Nepal) sheds light on the gender and climate change nexus, gender mainstreaming as a tool to address gender inequality, gender and climate change policy landscape both at international and national level, gaps and way forward.
News / 8 March 2021
On International Women's Day (March 8th) the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) will launch the "We, Women are Water" campaign to highlight women's role, demands and actions in ensuring water security in the face of climate change.
Event / 25 March 2022, 16:00 - 17:30
What does feminist climate action look like and what does it lead to? Join us to hear from grassroots activists who will share their lived experiences and recommendations for equitable, just, and sustainable strategies to tackle the most pressing issue of our time. Global Greengrants Fund and the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) will formally launch our joint campaign commitment to support these frontline climate solutions alongside the UN Women Generation Equality Forum’s Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition. Register today to learn how to mobilize more and better support for feminist climate action.
News / 11 January 2019
Clive Chibule from Zambia won the Gender Just Climate Solutions Award at the climate conference in Katowice, Poland. His project "Community strategies for climate-resilient livelihoods" aims at training rural women on leadership and climate resilience. A very important project, as Zambia is already feeling the effects of climate change, and rural women are affected most.
Event / 4 December 2015
During the COP21 in Paris, Both ENDS will be cooperating and presenting with partners on a number of events. If you plan on going, please consider visiting one or more of these sessions:
Event / 7 November 2016
From 7 to 18 november, the Climate Change COP22 will take place in Marrakech, Morrocco. This '22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)' as it is called officially, is the annual meeting of the 195 countries which have signed and ratified the convention.
Event / 4 December 2019, 15:00 - 16:30
On Wednesday December 4th 2019 Both ENDS together with Heinrich Böll Stiftung from he US organises a side event at the UNFCCC COP in Madrid: Can the GCF Catalyze Inclusive, Gender-Responsive Local Climate Action Globally and in Latin America?
News / 27 November 2020
Next week, the climate case brought against Royal Dutch Shell by Dutch environmental organisation Milieudefensie is due to start. Milieudefensie hopes to force the company to stop causing dangerous climate change and adopt a more sustainable course. Six Dutch organisations have decided to become co-plaintiffs in the case. They include ActionAid and Both ENDS, organisations that work outside the Netherlands on human rights, gender equality, environment and sustainable development. Though, at first glance, the case may not seem relevant to them, nothing is farther from the truth, as Nils Mollema of ActionAid and Niels Hazekamp of Both ENDS explain.
News / 21 March 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Jahin Shams Sakkhar of UTTARAN (Bangladesh) talks about floods, salinity and (in)justice.
News / 10 August 2021
As a response to the latest IPCC report, the directors of IUCN NL, Tropenbos International, Wetlands International, Both ENDS and the Institute for Environmental Security wrote an op-ed about the role nature policy can and should play in stopping climate change, which was published in Dutch in De Volkskrant of August 10, 2021. Below, you find the English translation of the article.
Event / 27 September 2019, 13:00
On Friday 27 September, Both ENDS joins the Dutch Climate Strike and the march in The Hague.
This way we let our government know that there is no more time to waste and that it must take significant action in all policy areas to stop climate change.
More information on the Dutch Climate Strike can be found on https://klimaatstaking.nl/english/
Event / 10 March 2019, 13:00 - 16:00
On Sunday the 10th of March 2019 Both ENDS will be taking part in what is expected to become the largest climate march in The Netherlands as of yet. The march is organised by Milieudefensie, Greenpeace, Oxfam Novib, FNV, De Goede Zaak and the Woonbond and supported by Both ENDS and a large number of diverse civil society organisations. Together, we demand a safe future for ourselves, our children and for all people whose lives have already been or will soon be made almost impossible because of the effects of climate change such as droughts, disease, floods or food shortages.
Event / 15 March 2022, 11:00 - 12:30
Join us at the 66st UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) for a critical conversation about the intersections of climate, gender and sustainable development. Land defenders and gender rights advocates will join ministry representatives from Sweden, Chile and the Netherlands in a discussion about feminist leadership in protecting land, promoting climate solutions and supporting truly sustainable development strategies. In this session, we aim to explore how governments and feminist climate movements can best work together to tackle the root causes of the climate crisis.
Press release / 26 October 2021
Today, on the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, the fossil fuel divest-invest movement released a new report that details how institutions representing an unprecedented total of EUR 33.7 trillion worth of assets have now committed to some form of fossil fuel divestment, a figure that's higher than the annual GDP of the United States and China combined.
News / 14 March 2021
A number of our colleagues at Both ENDS made a lot of noise at various locations around the country today, as part of the national Klimaatalarm (Climate Alarm) campaign. Annelieke Douma gave a short speech in Haarlem on the major role played by the Netherlands in climate change and environmental degradation beyond our borders. She made a number of suggestions that would immediately make Dutch foreign policy a lot more climate-friendly. Below is the text of her speech.
Publication / 4 November 2009
External link / 19 June 2020
In 2019, Karambot Women's Agriculture Group (Nepal) convinced their municipality to fund its proposed irrigation plan, after they followed a planning and budgeting training.
Letter / 23 August 2021
Reflecting the duality of gender and climate in the EIB’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework’s Standard 5 on Climate Change
This briefing of Eurodad, co-authored by Pieter Jansen, Both ENDS aims to outline recommendations on how the European Investment Bank should address the interconnected issue of gender inequity and the climate crisis in the newly proposed environmental and social policy.Severe climate change has consequences for human rights, including the right to life. As such, under the European convention on human rights the EIB has a duty to stop carbon-emissions related investments. The EIB and project promoters must monitor a project's greenhouse gas emissions and the climate risks of the project on the natural environment, and the women possibly affected by the project. The newly proposed policy should ensure that project promoters, who apply for EIB funding, submit a gender and social inclusion plan, and full participation and engagement of women, local communities and stakeholders in the Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment methodology.
Publication / 26 August 2020
Event / 6 November 2021, 13:00 - 15:00
This Saturday, November 6, people all over the world will take to the streets again to make a stand for the climate. In the Netherlands, the Climate March will take place in Amsterdam, and of course Both ENDS will join. We call on everyone who is concerned about the climate, to walk along with thousands of like-minded people and make this the largest Climate March in history!